By Scarlette Quille
As a mother, there is really no limit to the things that I have subjected myself to for the sake of my children. Wiping tears and asses is really just the tip of the iceberg — an initiation of sorts into the life long journey of being a mother. Yes, lifelong. I am here to tell you that the amount of strange and inconceivable activities you will endure as a mother does not stop at the age of 18. A mother’s love is the only explanation I have for how I found myself on a college campus attending a sorority-sponsored event: Moms’ Weekend. Yes, you read that correctly, my daughter is in a sorority.
Like many of you who may have grown up in the ‘90s, or watched “Revenge of the Nerds” in your formative years, I have a preconceived notion of what sorority life is all about: Female college students choosing participate in a process involving a series of embarrassing public rituals including but not limited to things like streaking, singing, dancing and perhaps flogging of some sort. All to appease a group of previously initiated “sisters” who live in a house together.
After pledging one’s life and dignity to the sisterhood you partake in more secret rituals, ultimately earning the privilege of living in a house with approximately 50 other women where daily life involves wearing matching shirts and accessories with Greek letters on them, participating in daily pillow fights and recklessly consuming alcohol at frat parties. I’m not saying that I had the facts straight. You can imagine my surprise when my own flesh and blood who was nursed on feminism, and already has several sisters, was interested in joining one. And admittedly I encouraged her.
Apparently sororities have changed over the years, or maybe the media interpretation was skewed? I don’t know. What I do know is that at my daughter’s college sorority members do not have a traditional house. Her “recruitment” did not involve nudity or flogging, and her sorority activities usually involve meetings and charity work. As a mother, the idea that she would meet new people and develop an extended support network appealed to me. I was not aware at the time that encouraging her would eventually lead to her asking me to attend a sorority sponsored event they call “Moms’ Weekend.”
I didn’t want to disappoint her – or worse, admit to her – that I have been secretly waiting for an opportunity to go back to college, even if it was just for a weekend. I said yes, and then immediately regretted it. What was I thinking? There is no way any sorority moms would accept me into their fold. These women were probably alumni, with their own hard earned Greek Alphabet credentials. I imagined spending a weekend surrounded by a group of uber-moms gifted in the realm of small talk, and giving botox-enhanced side eyes to convey emotion. My daughter emailed me our itinerary, basically we had the option to attend a canvas-painting party, brunch and a ice cream social. WHAT? I was immediately disappointed. What about the pillow fighting? What about the FRAT parties? How was I going to impress her new sisters? Sure, I am a professional artist, so I would clearly nail the weird sober group painting activity, but I’ve never been great at maintaining appropriate behavior in structured social events.
Turns out my daughter had a few tricks up her sleeve. Looking back, I think she was purposely torturing me by sending that itinerary, just to test my love and dedication to her. We skipped the ice cream social. Instead, my daughter decided to surprise me by taking me to a tattoo shop where she had the year I was born tattooed onto her elbow. I cried like some moms might cry from a Hallmark Card. We did the painting thing, and together we received a heavy amount of side eye. I suppose some moms were surprised to see my freshly-tattooed child. I took the heat off her by commenting that we should have brought a flask to the function. That was enough to transfer the judgment from her to me, as clearly she came by her questionable behavior from her mother.
Next on the agenda was a house party. This was the opportunity I had been waiting for. The party was at a sorority sister’s house, and there were moms and daughters in attendance. Everyone was wearing matching shirts and drinking. It was exactly what I imagined sorority life would be like. Yes, there were a few uptight moms there. I was uncharacteristically quiet at first, but it wasn’t until one of the sisters broke out an amazing new party accessory, the chambong, that I allowed my inner light to shine. For those of you who haven’t been to college lately, a chambong is like a beer bong but made out of delicate glass for “champagne-bonging.” I was made for this activity. The chambong-holding sister asked “Who wants to break it in?” Both my daughter and I raised our hands with out even making eye contact with each other. It’s sort of a blur after a few chambongs and Fireball shots, but I think the other moms were adequately impressed with our performance. I only recall horrifying my daughter once as she vaguely disapproved of me demonstrating to her sorority sisters a step-by-step lesson on folding a bar towel into the perfectly-sculpted penis.
I suppose the big take-away from the weekend, besides a raging champagne headache, is that I have always been wrong about sororities. Sororities are about bringing women together to do good things for the community and creating a support system for members who are new to being on their own. Let’s face it, sometimes the best kind of community service involves chambonging with your mom. I’m bringing grandma next time.
Alpha BETA LOVEYA,
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